Where to stay in Macau
Macau's hotel stock ranges from older colonial properties, inns and economy-class accommodation up to luxury havens from global chains, with the last of these coming into particular prominence now that Macau is successfully selling itself as an international casino destination. Most of Macau's small and mid-sized hotels are located on the peninsula, which has good access to most of the main tourist sights. The new wave of casino resorts on the Cotai Strip, however, have some of the most upmarket accommodation in the territory. A more laid-back alternative is to stay on one of the islands – there are several resort hotels on Colôane, for example.
The lure of the casinos mean that prices rise on Friday and Saturday nights, typically by around 20%. The Grand Prix in November also sees an influx of visitors and a rise in prices. In both cases an advance reservation is advised. All rates are subject to a 10% service charge, plus a 5% government tax. Cheaper places sometimes have different rates for single or double occupancy, while more expensive hotels just quote a price for the room.
If you arrive without a reservation, then try enquiring at the desk at the ferry terminal. They sometimes have good deals on hotels, and don’t charge a fee – although you do have to pay a deposit.
The nearest things to bed and breakfasts in Macau are the pousadas – hotels which are typically small and intimate. These include the Pousada de Coloane, the Pousada de Mong Ha and the Pousada de Sao Tiago. The last of these is perhaps the best known in Macau, an old fortress which is full of character.
There is a campsite on Hac Sa beach, on Coloane island. The facilities include basketball courts and a barbecue area, and it has good access not only for the beach but also for hiking and biking trails. It’s free to pitch a tent.
Youth Hostels: Backpackers wanting to stay overnight in Macau will find very few options unless they are willing to splash out on a hotel. The exceptions are the territory’s two official youth hostels – one in Hac Sa and one in Cheoc Van. They are basic but affordable, although note that priority is given to people participating in events run by the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau or on trips organised by schools or local youth organisations. In July and August, the hostels are completely reserved for summer youth activities. Prices are higher for foreign visitors than for locals, at MOP$100/120 (Sun–Fri/Sat and holidays) for a dorm bed or MOP$120/160 upwards per person for a room.
Budget: Macau has very little in the way of cheap hotels – generally if your budget is really tight then it’s better to stay in Hong Kong (hardly the cheapest of Asian cities, but with a few more low-end options) and visit as a day trip. Alternatively, stay in one of the youth hostels if you can get a reservation.